Skywalker: Best UAV platform ever? (I'm in love)

[UPDATE: Hooks has, er, hooked us up with a 10% discount at, for this and anything else they sell. Just use the discount code "diydrones". Awesome! Thanks Hooks!]

Thanks to Hooks for turning us on to the new Skywalker foam UAV platform. Mine just arrived and based on a quick inspection, I'm pretty sure this is the one for me! Everything about is totally optimized for a UAV, from the payload capacity to transportability. I'm blown away by how thoughtfully designed this one is.

It's got it all:
  • The durability of foam with all the interior room of balsa
  • Payload area right under the CG, so you don't have to worry about balance issues
  • Hand launchable, but still can carry pounds of payload
  • Breaks down easily for transport
  • Ailerons and optional flaps
  • Pusher, high-wing configuration, with servos outside to save room inside
  • Super tough EPO material
  • Easy to get to equipment with big bay doors on both sides
  • External mounting spots on rear fuselage for wireless transmitters (keeps them away from other electronics)
At $144, I think it's very fairly priced. I think this is one of the best made foam ARFs that I've seen, right up there with the Multiplex line. Don't forget to order the power pack at the same time.

Here's a shot of a prototype being flown by the creators:

Rather than give it a full review (I haven't flow it yet), I'll just give first impressions in pictures.

Views: 17694

Comment by James F. on April 28, 2010 at 8:38pm
The real question is, how does it fly? I would think it to be a bit jittery with that T tail. How much power can we put behind this thing?
Comment by Earl on April 28, 2010 at 8:45pm
Now THAT'S what we need ! The payloads keep getting bigger and bigger..
Next version will have a passenger seat ??? That's FPV

Comment by Brian on April 28, 2010 at 8:49pm
Very cool! Anyone remember the link someone posted to these on the CN version of Ebay? I remember really good prices (on these and other platforms) if you were willing to go through the whoops...
Comment by Eric on April 28, 2010 at 10:15pm
You could probably fit a dozen hamsters in there!

... i mean ...

... just throwing that out there...?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 28, 2010 at 11:41pm
I think with the battery up there, in a pretty handy spot, you will need to make sure you have the rest of the weight down low in the airframe, it looks good. Now go fly it! It does look like the first factory made contender.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on April 28, 2010 at 11:46pm
Gary, it's actually good to have it up here, so the weight is in line with the thrust. That limits the pitch-down when you increase the thrust quickly on a high-prop plane.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on April 29, 2010 at 12:02am
Cool, well lets see how it goes, I always like to get a bit of weight down low in order to increase stability a bit. Still a couple of cameras maybe three in that spot might just do the trick. I look forward to hearing about the flight trials. Best dial in some aileron differential as well for sweeter turns with a spot of rudder. But it looks grand. Once you have flown it I shall consider getting one. Now stop running this site and even worse, working. Go and fly it!

Comment by Morli on April 29, 2010 at 12:15am

Comment by brakar on April 29, 2010 at 12:56am
Great ide with those hamsters. From experience I know they are highly energic. They could pedal the whole thing, just connect a running wheel to the prop.

Would be a very envinonmentally friendly solution!
Comment by Bart on April 29, 2010 at 4:59am
dimensions of internal space?


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